Cloud infrastructures are quickly becoming a necessity for businesses looking for secure backup, scalable storage, and easy collaboration on shared files. In addition to optimizing your business’s operations, cloud service providers offer an array of additional solutions and benefits to further support your business and its unique needs.

At Global IP, we take pride in assisting our clients in making an informed decision when selecting their cloud service provider. Below are a few of the most important questions and considerations to keep in mind while looking through your options.

Do You Need Cloud Storage or Backup?

While there is some overlap between cloud storage and cloud backup, the two are not entirely synonymous. Both securely store your assets online, but the purposes and functionality of each differ significantly.

Cloud storage
Secure cloud storage is designed for the everyday retrieval and collaboration on shared documents. It’s similar to having large, company hard drives, but without the maintenance or IT management physical hard drives require. Additionally, cloud storage allows anyone in your organization to access and edit documents regardless of their location.

Cloud storage is perfect for businesses that have fluctuating data storage needs or companies that work remotely in any capacity. Your cloud storage providers should provide thorough security measures to keep your data safe and have the resources and experience to keep your data accessible and minimize potential downtime.

Cloud Backup
Cloud backup services also store your data, but for the purposes of disaster recovery. If your cloud storage is attacked or your assets are compromised, the cloud backup can allow you to recover your files. And, because cloud backup is entirely digital, it eliminates the risk of threats from physical destruction, such as natural disasters.

Cloud backup services provide peace of mind and security to businesses that deal with sensitive data or those that wish to manage multiple file histories across various devices. Your cloud backup service provider can also work with you in determining further disaster recovery options, if needed, to keep your business operating smoothly.

Additional Features & Services to Consider

Once you’ve determined which services your business can benefit from, you can look more into the different benefits most cloud services providers offer. In addition to expertise and customer services, consider what your business needs in terms of security, support, compliance, accessibility, and cost.

Security is arguably the most important factor in choosing a service provider. Most providers will offer basic security measures built into the service to keep your information protected, but you should also look for ES encryption for data storage and TLS encryption for transmission. These will prevent anyone- including the provider- from reading intercepted data. For another layer of defense, ask your managed service provider if they offer additional features that may benefit your business, such as end-to-end encryption.

Timely, experienced, and efficient user support is absolutely essential. Whether you’re transitioning to cloud-based storage or maintaining your current cloud infrastructure, your support team should be able to provide any and all help you may need.

While some providers may offer a resource center or FAQs, nothing can replace the value of speaking with another human who is knowledgeable and has experience with your operations. Look for a provider who offers email support, online chat services, or telephone support, which can each be useful depending on the complexities and urgency of your problem.

If a critical system is down, you’ll want the option to contact support immediately rather than waste time attempting to sort through the problem yourself.

Cloud services can quickly become a minefield of industry regulations and sector compliance requirements. Luckily, when you select a reliable cloud service provider, you will likely never have to worry about your network’s compliance. Check your provider’s compliance policies to ensure your systems are compliant and accounted for.

One of the best perks of cloud services is the overall accessibility. You and your employees should be able to access data in the cloud from any location and on any device, which will give your business great flexibility- especially if any employees are working remotely. Unless all employees are accessing data from the office on office computers, you’ll want to ensure that your cloud infrastructure is compatible with various operating systems and with different devices, such as iOS or Android.

However, for optimal security, you should also be able to control who can access what and when. Rather than giving all employees access to all data, you’ll want to provide only what is necessary for their specific jobs. This can help prevent security vulnerabilities and better pinpoint where potential breaches occurred.

Good, reliable cloud services are well worth the cost, even for basic services. You won’t need to pay for every possible cloud service to suit your business, but you also shouldn’t forgo necessary features for cost’s sake. When selecting a cloud service provider, find a company that will work with you and your budget to create a private, public, or hybrid cloud infrastructure, based on your needs and budget, and choose the best solutions to balance function and cost.

Consult with an Experienced Cloud Service Provider

At Global IP, we highly recommend that our clients are as informed as possible when choosing a cloud storage provider. If you’d like to learn more about enterprise cloud storage solutions or are unsure what your business needs, contact an expert today to learn how we can provide excellent cloud solutions for your business.

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